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We were fantastic - Harry

Posted on 15 September 2010  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp said our first half display at Werder Bremen was 'as good as you could wish to see'.

We were fantastic - Harry

Harry Redknapp said our first half display at Werder Bremen was 'as good as you could wish to see'.

Our first-ever match in the group stages of the Champions League certainly lived up to all expectations on a rainy night in Germany.

For 43 minutes we completely controlled the game at the home of the team that finished third in the Bundesliga last season.

We took the lead after 12 minutes when Gareth Bale's cross was turned into his own goal by Petri Pasanen.

And it was soon 2-0 as Jermaine Jenas switched play to Rafael van der Vaart and he delivered the perfect cross for Peter Crouch to head into the top corner.

Bale was twice denied by home keeper Tim Wiese and few would have argued if we'd gone further ahead.

But then the key moment. Just two minutes before the break, Hugo Almeida headed home Wesley's cross and that inspired both the home team and fans in the Weserstadion.

The second half was a different story. Werder Bremen equalised within three minutes of the restart through Marko Marin and took control, forcing Carlo Cudicini into a couple of fine saves and firing wide of the target from good positions.

We managed to weather the storm though and could have won it at the end.

First, another Bale cross looked set to be turned home by Crouch only for Pasanen to divert it away and then Crouch dinked just wide after being sent clear by Wilson Palacios.

In the end it stayed at 2-2 - arguably a fair result - and Group A of the Champions League is all square after FC Twente held champions Inter Milan by the same scoreline in Holland.

"I thought we were fantastic in the first half," reflected Harry.

"We came out, completely controlled the game and for 43 minutes we passed the ball unbelievably.

"It could have been more than 2-0 and if we were three or four goals up it would have been a fair reflection of the play.

"We then conceded a goal just before half-time and it gave them a lifeline. From nothing, suddenly they found themselves at 2-1 and with something to go for.

"A goal like that changes attitudes. At 2-0, if we score next at 3-0 it's game over but at 2-1, it's game on. That's what happened. They got that goal when they were struggling to live with us and it gave them a massive lift.

"They scored early in the second half but we hung in there and created a couple of great chances at the end.

"We're all disappointed to have gone 2-0 up and not won, but we played exactly as I wanted us to play. We were much, much better than them in the first half. We passed the ball and they didn't get near us.

"The first half was as good as you could wish to see from us and if we play like that every game we won't go far wrong."